PalmSource Announces the ACCESS Linux Platform

PalmSource Announces the ACCESS Linux Platform

February 14, 2006

By: Christopher Meinck


PalmSource announces Access Linx Platform (ALP) bringing full Palm compatibility to mobile devices. The new OS was endorsed by Freescale, Intel and NEC. Missing was their number one licensee, Palm. It’s expected the new OS will appear on devices starting in 2007.

New Commercial Grade Linux-Based Platform is Designed for Smartphones and Mobile Devices

ACCESS Co., Ltd., and its wholly owned subsidiary, PalmSource, Inc., today announced the
ACCESS Linux Platform (ALP), the latest evolution of Palm OS(R) for Linux. The
ACCESS Linux Platform is designed to be an integrated, open and flexible
Linux-based platform tailored for smartphones and mobile devices.

ACCESS’ goal is to have ALP become the platform of choice for the development of high volume, feature rich smartphones and mobile devices for high performance networks, including 2.5G and 3G, worldwide. ALP is designed to provide a complete, consistent and customizable solution for handset and mobile device manufacturers and mobile operators. ACCESS and PalmSource expect to make the ALP Software Developer Kit (SDK) available to its licensees by the end of this year (2006).

“We believe that ALP combines best-in-class open source Linux components
with proven mobile technologies developed by PalmSource and ACCESS’ Linux
said Toru Arakawa, president and CEO of ACCESS, Co., Ltd. “As a
commercial-grade, flexible, open, robust and standards-based mobile Linux
based platform, ALP is designed to provide handset manufacturers with faster
time-to-market while supporting the goal of operators to offer revenue-
generating services, applications and content.”

ACCESS Linux Platform

An open and flexible software platform — Major components of ALP include:

  • Standard, commercial-grade Linux kernel — version 2.6.12 and above
  • Optimized implementation of GIMP ToolKit (GTK+) — popular open source libraries for the creation of graphical user interfaces
  • GStreamer – an open source, modular and multi-threaded streaming media framework
  • SQLite – a high-performance database engine commonly used in embedded devices

Where appropriate, open source components used in ALP are extended and
certified by the Company. For example, ACCESS and PalmSource will enhance and
certify the open source BlueZ libraries to provide ALP with a Bluetooth(R) 2.0
technology compliant software stack.

A number of ACCESS and PalmSource technologies have been incorporated into
ALP, including:

  • ACCESS NetFront(TM) browser — a proven success with over 200 million
    deployments in 721 commercial products for more than 30 handset and 90
    Internet device manufacturers worldwide
  • PalmSource messaging and telephony middleware — a highly modular and
    scalable implementation
  • PalmSource mobile applications including PIMs, multimedia, messaging,
    PalmSource HotSync(R) and Palm Desktop — includes the recognized
    ease-of-use that users expect

By combining ACCESS’ robust NetFront browser platform, its extensive business relationships with over 30 handset vendors and Linux expertise with PalmSource’s advanced operating system, application portfolio, user interface and developer community, the Company believes that ALP will provide the market
with a comprehensive yet flexible and integrated commercial-grade Linux based
solution for the mobile market.

Accelerating innovation

ALP features MAX, an innovative application framework designed by ACCESS and PalmSource to deliver an intuitive, easy-to-use user experience and user interface for smartphones and mobile
devices. MAX will seamlessly support the concurrent operation of multiple applications and tasks. It will also provide easy access to background tasks. Designed to deliver a predictable and intuitive navigation model for both one- and two-handed user interface schemes, the MAX framework offers the flexibility to support five-way navigation and two dedicated keys, as well as touch-screen and stylus input mechanisms.

Enabling customization — In addition to the MAX application framework, ALP is designed to support the existing Palm Powered(TM) Economy, the J2ME developer community and the open source community. This flexibility in choosing application models and user experiences enables handset manufacturers and operators to customize their offerings.

Providing new opportunities for developers — The mobile Linux market is
expected to grow from shipments of 3.5 million in 2005 to 28.1 million by
2010, according to the industry analyst firm Informa*. This presents new
opportunities for both Palm OS(R) and Linux third-party developers. ALP has
been designed to ensure that properly written Palm OS 68K applications will
run unchanged. We believe that this compatibility will enable PalmSource’s
robust community of over 420,000 registered developers to potentially reach
new customers and markets.

In addition, ALP, because it includes open source components including GTK
and GStreamer, can support a wide variety of third party Linux applications
and services. ACCESS and PalmSource plan to provide the developer community
with development tools and SDKs to enable them to port existing applications
and develop new applications for ALP.

Building a Mobile Linux Ecosystem — Much like PalmSource gave rise to the
Palm Powered Economy, ACCESS and PalmSource are focused on enriching the
broader Mobile Linux Ecosystem. The first step in this mission is to make ALP
is the most service-ready platform for smartphones and mobile devices by
providing leading mobile operators the opportunity to collaborate with ACCESS
and PalmSource and integrate their feedback and requirements into the ALP
development efforts. Secondly, ACCESS and PalmSource will work closely with
leading developers to optimize their applications to run on the ALP platform.
We believe that doing these things will help build and grow a robust mobile
Linux ecosystem that benefits developers, operators and handset manufacturers
while providing end users with a wide range of applications to meet the needs
of a diverse range of industries and consumers.

Related articles: PC Magazine: “PalmSource Unveils New Linux Based Palm OS

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